Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spring to Summer to Springish

Whoa. Last weekend was a trip, wasn't it? The Market was 80 degrees when it opened at 7 AM last Saturday, and it was all uphill from there - the high that day was 97 degrees. It may have been the hottest actual Market day in several years, certainly in the last three.

We're starting to see a shift in the growing season. The weather has surely helped speed things up, but the calendar also points ahead to the Summer Solstice, which this year is on June 21. Garlic scapes are ready, the first of the greenhouse cucurbitae are ready, the peas are ready, and we hear we'll probably have the first green beans of the season this weekend as well. If you're lucky, you'll still find some stray asparagus or rhubarb, but that's looking mostly done for 2011.

As for strawberries - like last week, get thee to the Market early. We're not sure what this week's heat has meant to the berries, but what there is to be had will likely go quickly. If you want real-time updates on the berry situation, may we suggest following the Market on Twitter or Facebook? Those two accounts are updated frequently, often with late-breaking news about available food.

This weekend, we're planning to introduce our first attempt at a seating area in the community groups row on the west side of the Market, located between our two main entrances. The plan is to have three tents set up with tables and chairs underneath so people can catch some shade and mingle a bit and have a bite to eat. We have some other plans for the area in the hopper as well. This week, patrons will be able to visit with the Urbana Business Association, the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, the Illinois Club, the Sierra Club, Webber Street Christian Church, the Champaign County Master Gardeners, the University of  Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, and several other groups offering information, conversation, and opportunities.

We expect the weather to cooperate - we always do - but also advise you, dear patrons, to keep an eye on it. The Market goes rain or shine, so if you need to, find your umbrella and galoshes, because we'll be there.

See you this weekend!

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